I read this poem in a collection and now I can't find it. It starts with the poet talking about how they were approached by someone who had loved one of their poems. But the reader could not remember the name of the poem.

This delighted the poet because, not only had the poem moved the reader, but someday they would rediscover it and be moved all over again as if they were reading it for the first time.

Does anybody know the name of this poem, and the name of the poet?

(P.S. Yes, I am aware of the irony here)

  • It's hard to Google for this one, because search terms like "poet reader forgotten name" just yield websites for identifying poems! +1 for meta :-D
    – Rand al'Thor
    Sep 14 '17 at 20:56
  • It makes me think of Nicanor Parra's anti-poetry, but it's been a while, so, just a guess.
    – DukeZhou
    Sep 14 '17 at 21:29

I actually found it myself. I remembered the collection I had read it in and searched through it. It is The Secret by Denise Levertov.

Two girls discover

the secret of life

in a sudden line of


I who don’t know the

secret wrote

the line. They

told me

(through a third person)

they had found it

but not what it was

not even

what line it was. No doubt

by now, more than a week

later, they have forgotten

the secret,

the line, the name of

the poem. I love them

for finding what

I can’t find,

and for loving me

for the line I wrote,

and for forgetting it

so that

a thousand times, till death

finds them, they may

discover it again, in other


in other

happenings. And for

wanting to know it,


assuming there is

such a secret, yes,

for that

most of all.

I realise now that I had the description a little bit wrong. That's the trouble with memory I suppose.


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